Free Tools For Social Media Optimization

Even though millions of users worldwide were using social media sites extensively every day, most marketers decided to stay away from it. They had to apprehensions regarding the use of social media – first they didn’t understand how to join the conversation without sounding ‘desperate’ to sell and secondly, they were frightened away by actually associating their brands with questionable content.

But companies have kept these apprehensions behind and realized that marketing through social mediums is unavoidable since the target audience and competitors are already there. Everyone on the internet seems to be talking about the intersection of social media marketing and SEO. Keyword optimized social content and using the right channels of promotion (known as Social Media Optimization – SMO) provide search engines with better visibility, real-time and social search

With the rise of SMO, it becomes important to use tools for research, marketing, promotion or analytics of your social marketing efforts. Following are the five free tools I use extensively to track my SMO campaigns;

  1. semrush.com – it has a huge amount of data stored in the database. It has several tools including Google Keywords, AdWords Keywords, Competitors in Google, Competitors in Adwords, AdWords Ads Texts, Potential Ad Buyers and Potential Ad Sellers. All are useful and proper reports can be viewed. I use it to check competitors mainly.
  2. Page Inlink Analyzer – You need to enter the URL, and then all the inbound links to your website, their Delicious bookmarks and keyword tags will be displayed. Good to analyze all links and keyword tags together for SMO strategy.
  3. socialmention.com – enter the keyword you want to track and this social media search engine site will display all the mediums on which your keyword has been mentioned. Real-time social search and scoring or social keyword research.
  4. Google Insights – with Google insights, you can compare search volume patterns across specific regions, categories, time frames and properties. Extremely useful for checking keyword demand trends
  5. knowem.com – you can check whether the name of your brand, product or username is being used on over 340 social media networks. It gives you access to all the social media websites you can use to market your company. It can be called a profile building tool

I would like to mention PostRank Analytics as well here. It is a paid service with a minimal charge of $9 per month (a free trial of a month) and is the best to track your social media efforts. You can add custom pages to track, link it with Google Analytics and record various engagement trends.

Another one that I came across recently is howsociable.com. It is a very interesting concept. You can easily gauge the social presence of a brand or a particular keyword. For each social networking site mentioned, you can click through to see specific mentions.

There are various paid tools available as well. If you’re very active on social media then I suggest paid tools will offer you tremendous advantage. And for companies with moderate level of engagement, the tools mentioned above should be good enough.

Whether Social Media Or Networking – It All Starts With the Right Conversation

There appears to be this ongoing discussion as to the return on investment for social media activities. During this perpetual dialogue, one of the more important components often overlooked is the comparative amount of time many business owners and sales professionals already spend on the same old, traditional business development activities like networking. One of the most prominent advantages associated with social media interaction as it relates to business development, is the massive benefits it provides in creating awareness, building relationships, and increasing connections. Many people seem to have no issue with spending two or three and up to five hours a week on face-to-face networking events. Yet, it is these same people who seem to be reluctant to engage in those same two-to-five hours of social media networking work. For many, this feels like a waste of time.

While we can compare the differences and the real advantages between the two, the bottom line is that whether your business development activities are social media based or face-to-face network oriented, the power of the conversation and the strength of the connection drives everything in the relationship building process. What most people do not realize that there is a tremendous opportunity to effectively engage in this very activity with social media in a manner that is at least productive, if not more, than traditional face-to-face networking. It is this experience that causes me to challenge those who value actual face-to-face networking over virtual social media networking. For those who support this challenge really do not know the potential, recognize its power, or understand the process.

In order to better understand the remarkable similarities between the two approaches and to provide a little insight in how to effectively build any relationship, virtual or otherwise, here are four areas for consideration when analyzing this debate:

1. The Potential of Many over the Hope of the Few:

Even if a networking event has 800 people in it, how many people can you effectively meet? More importantly, how many can you effectively engage in preliminary chatter and introduce yourself to them. You cannot build a relationship or close a sale at a networking event, you can only explore the potential to create interest in one. With social media it is the same, except you have the ability to introduce yourself to hundreds of thousands of people every time you initiate a conversation through social media.

2. Defining a Valuable Connection:

Relationships can be very effectively started on either medium. How you develop them is dependent upon your commitment to real relationship building. Effective networking relationships take time to build trust and rapport. The best networking relationships are always cultivated over time. Social media relationships are the same way. The problem is that most people spend too much time selling and pitching on either platform to effectively build great relationships. Which leads us to the next point-the conversation.

3. The Effective Conversation:

Great business relationships require time to develop. I have noticed that there is way too much “selling” taking place at both networking events and on social media platforms. Both platforms provide a great opportunity to create interest, establish connections and build relationships. The only difference is that the ineffective networker makes direct, face-to-face contact with the people they are turning off. Hence, they confuse having made these contacts as indicators of positive activity and productive results. With social media, the bad networker doesn’t get to actually see the people that are deleting his spammy tweets.

4. Use Your Imagination:

If you knew you were having an open-ended conversation with 1,000 people with one message, blog, or tweet how would you feel about social media? How would you feel about that opportunity? Pretend you have an opportunity to introduce yourself to 1,000 people at once. Would you pitch them or introduce yourself? Would you find out what they are up to? Would you work to discover what is important to them at that time? As a very good networker you would introduce yourself and attempt to engage all of them in a conversation that made them the focal point. It usually starts with a great open ended question that encourages people to elicit a response. It would go something like this, “what are you looking to accomplish today?” The answers will define where you go from there. In the end, true and productive relationship development requires that we encourage people to engage and share. In the social media world it is no different.

Whether face-to-face or virtual, networking and relationship building is the same. For those who probably haven’t “gotten social media” or think there needs to be an ROI for these activities, they probably need to examine their overall networking behavior anyway. Start over with your networking strategy and approach. Introduce yourself and start a conversation. Listen, learn, and start building relationships, build a lot of relationships. Whether virtual or not, great relationships are all about the conversation. Once you understand how to accomplish this, take your show onto the Internet and turn it loose. You will be amazed at the outcome.

Social Media Marketing Techniques To Follow

Businesses, especially the small ones are using the social media marketing in addition to the traditional forms of marketing as one of the tools for reaching out to their target audiences. This form of marketing is very popular and is increasing day by day. The most notable benefit that the social media marketing has introduced is the minimal cost. When using social media networks as the advertising platform, you can reach audiences, who show interest in you and your product. Not that everyone using social networking sites is becoming successful in gaining the target audiences. It’s not so easy too. A well planned effort and techniques are must if you want to bring success. In this article, you will find a number of social media marketing techniques the successful social media marketers are using in promoting their products or services.

Firstly you have to identify who your target audiences are. Find out what your target audiences get interested in; what their demands are; what they value; what satisfy them; how your products or services match their demands; how they fall in with your niche; and so on.

Always use your business name when you open an account with the social networking sites, including Facebook and Twitter, so that others cannot use them for their purpose. If it is for business purpose, follow this rule. If it is for personal use, you can use your personal name. Opening an account with your business name will also help in building brand awareness.

Accuracy is a must. You know that negative news spreads over virally. Proofread the posts again and again so that you can avoid mistakes. Building brand awareness is very difficult and time-consuming, but one mistake can destroy it. Every time review the post carefully when you make them.

Avoid similar tweets; bring changes in content. Same content or tweet may make your audiences boring. It can hamper your goodwill too. Provide relevant information about your product and niche. Send them messages directly; make some fun with them if you can. It will help your audiences engage in your posts. Try finding your potential customers’ views. It will give you the clue in writing the right content.

Regularly check your followings. Un-follow them who don’t show interest in your niche. You can figure out the followings who fall in your niche by observing their activities. When they follow you within a reasonable period, they feel interest in you. Doing this will figure out your target audiences.

You may lose your market share to your competitors at any time. So try to analyze your competitors’ social media strategies. Have a look at their social media profiles. Update your profile by anything you find interesting in them. This will make your profile rich.

Develop your own business blog if possible. When you post a new quality content in your blog, add the link to your social media sites too. Be careful in your blog posting; always provide quality content; avoid posting your personal or political views. Your audience may not like your biased content. If possible, try guest blogging; invite only those blogger who also specialize in your niche.

Always use white hat SEO techniques. If you use it you will get the reward. Spamming may destroy you.

I hope these techniques will show the right path. Always keep your eyes open; catch up the trends; respond accordingly. You will get the social media marketing benefits and your dream will come true.